He’s baaaack … already.
Just ten days after leaving his Ward 2 District Council seat that he held for almost 29 years, Jack Evans filed papers with the Board of Elections on Jan. 27 to run for it again in two elections. Evans plans to run in the special elections on June 16 to fill the Ward 2 seat until the end of 2020 as well as in the Democratic primary election on June 2. The general election on Nov. 3 will determine the Ward 2 Council member for the next full term.
On Jan. 10, Evans handed D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson his resignation letter just hours before the Council was to meet to vote — for the second time — to expel him for committing ethics violations. It would have been the first time in D.C. history that a sitting Council member would be expelled.
At the time, rumors were recounted in The Georgetowner that Evans had stepped down in order not to deny himself a chance to run again. But it wasn’t clear. “I know I have made some mistakes during my service to the city, and I’m leaving the Council having learned important lessons that I will carry with me into the next chapter of my life,” Evans wrote. Some saw that as an end-of-political-career statement. Pro-business advocates, including Mayor Muriel Bowser, said Evans would be missed.
When Evans was first elected in 1991, Washington, D.C., was known for its crime and grave financial problems. He was one of the Council members who pushed fiscal responsibility, the redevelopment of downtown and the return of baseball to D.C. Evans’s stump speech recalled both downtown’s and Georgetown’s less than stellar situation in the mid 1990s and usually ended with his words, “This is the golden age of Georgetown.”
Meanwhile, after a year of investigations, the D.C. Council had determined that Evans had used his advantages of public office to advance the interests of clients of his consultant firm and made its move for Evans’s expulsion.
The Georgetowner photographed Evans Jan. 26 at a Lunar New Year celebration in Chinatown, marching alongside Mayor Muriel Bowser and Council Chair Phil Mendelson. The inclusion of Evans in parade lineup raised a few eyebrows.
On Monday, Mendelson said that Evans had told him about his plans to run for his office again and that he opposes the idea, according to the Washington Post. “It would not serve the Council well, so soon after the Council forced him to resign,” Mendelson told the Post.
“It demonstrates to me that he doesn’t take ethics at all seriously,” Grosso told the Post. “He has not been contrite one bit.”
Other political comebacks for a disgraced D.C. politician include the most famous of the them all: the late Mayor Marion Barry, whose last political role was a Council member. Another former council member Michael Brown has said he’s considering running for office again despite serving time in federal prison for bribery.
Evans and six others will be in the Democratic Primary for the Ward 2 Council seat: Advisory neighborhood commissioners Patrick Kennedy, John Fanning and Kishan Putta; former Capitol Hill staffer and D.C. government employee Jordan Grossman; and local activists Daniel Hernandez and Yilin Zhang. All plan to run in the special election. Republican Katherine Venice is also running for the Ward 2 seat.